PiDPs and Gigatron

Doghouse – Older Architectures

Article from Issue 231/2020

Maddog considers the joys of recreating ancient computers and learning about programming within these older architectures.

Recently, there was much discussion on my social media pages about ancient computers and teaching assembly language with regards to these older architectures.

I have long advocated that even in the days of virtual machines and Java that computer science students and computer engineering students should learn at least one assembly language early in their programming education. This, in my mind, is necessary to avoid mistakes in program design and to be able to discover errors in compilation that might occur due to the compiler or optimizations requested.

Perhaps some of you are not aware of the magnificent work of Bob Supnik, a vice president and engineer who I had the privilege of knowing and working with for a number of years at DEC.


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